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Athlete Burnout and the Risk of Dropout Among Young Elite Handball Players

Sandrine Isoard-Gautheur, Emma Guillet-Descas, and Henrik Gustafsson

The negative feelings that are part of burnout syndrome may prompt athletes to drop out of their sport. The objective of the current study was therefore to examine the influence of athlete burnout profiles on playing status 6 years later. The participants of this study were 458 boys and girls between 14 and 18 years old (M = 15.44; SD = .95) enrolled in elite handball training centers. Cluster analysis on athlete burnout and multinomial logistic regressions on the playing status were conducted. The results suggest that those individuals with a “higher burnout” profile at Time 1 were more likely to have stopped playing handball 6 years later. It therefore seems important to develop strategies to prevent burnout in young athletes enrolled in elite training structures and to promote long-term engagement and well-being in elite sporting activity.

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A Prospective Study of the Influence of Perceived Coaching Style on Burnout Propensity in High Level Young Athletes: Using a Self-Determination Theory Perspective

Sandrine Isoard-Gautheur, Emma Guillet-Descas, and Pierre-Nicolas Lemyre

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“Mirror, Mirror, Am I as My Coach Sees Me?”: Discrepancy Between Athlete Self-Appraisals and Reflected Appraisals of Their Coach, and Relations With Athlete Burnout

David Trouilloud, Sandrine Isoard-Gautheur, and Valentin Roux

Using a person-centered approach, this study was conducted to identify (a) specific athlete profiles in terms of degree of discrepancy between their self-appraisals and the reflected appraisals of their coach and (b) the relations between these profiles and athlete burnout. Athletes (N = 369; M age = 21.15 years) fulfilled measures of self-appraisals, reflected appraisals of their coach, and burnout. Latent profile analysis allowed the identification of three profiles: concordance (84%), positive discrepancy (11%), and negative discrepancy (5%). Analyses revealed relationships between athletes’ profile membership and the three dimensions of burnout: emotional and physical exhaustion, sport devaluation, and reduced sense of accomplishment. More specifically, results indicated that athletes with a positive discrepancy profile (i.e., who rated themselves more positively than they think their coaches see them) were more at risk of burnout. This study contributes to existing research on psychosocial determinants of athlete burnout in the context of the coach–athlete relationship.

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Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations Between Athlete Burnout, Insomnia, and Polysomnographic Indices in Young Elite Athletes

Markus Gerber, Simon Best, Fabienne Meerstetter, Sandrine Isoard-Gautheur, Henrik Gustafsson, Renzo Bianchi, Daniel J. Madigan, Flora Colledge, Sebastian Ludyga, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, and Serge Brand

Few studies have examined the association between sleep and burnout symptoms in elite athletes. We recruited 257 young elite athletes (M age = 16.8 years) from Swiss Olympic partner schools. Of these, 197 were reassessed 6 months later. Based on the first assessment, 24 participants with clinically relevant burnout symptoms volunteered to participate in a polysomnographic examination and were compared with 26 (matched) healthy controls. Between 12% and 14% of young elite athletes reported burnout symptoms of potential clinical relevance, whereas 4–11% reported clinically relevant insomnia symptoms. Athletes with clinically relevant burnout symptoms reported significantly more insomnia symptoms, more dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions, and spent less time in bed during weeknights (p < .05). However, no significant differences were found for objective sleep parameters. A cross-lagged panel analysis showed that burnout positively predicted self-reported insomnia symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral interventions to treat dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions might be a promising measure to reduce subjective sleep complaints among young elite athletes.